Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded a strong 30-12 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Redfern Oval today in round two of the NSWRL Harold Matthews Cup.
An outstanding first half saw the Sea Eagles rip the home side apart through some fine work by the forwards led by prop Noa Faatui and hooker Ollie Cummins.
Their hard work allowed the likes of exciting young five-eighth Latu Fainu and centre Josh Feledy to cause havoc out wide.
Souths opened the scoring in the sixth minute when a short kick on the last tackle was dropped in goal by Manly captain Josh Feledy for full-back Aaron Macey to score near the posts. Five-eighth Cooper McGrath converted for a 6-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles came close to scoring twice in the 11th minute but lock Mitchell Taotua and Fainu were held up over the line.
The pressure on Souths finally told when Fainu put a clever grubber kick in behind the defence for the ball to sit up perfectly for Feledy to score two minutes later. Cummins converted for a 6-all scoreline.
Two minutes later, the Sea Eagles produces some razzle dazzle in the rain when Fainu offloaded to Feledy who put a kick through for the ball to again sit up perfectly for Cummins to score. Cummins converted from in front of the posts for a 12-6 lead after 18 minutes.
Manly then capitalised on a drop ball from Souths when from a scrum win, Fainu and Feledy combined to send winger Calvin Lehy over in the corner. Cummins converted from the sideline for an 18-6 lead after 24 minutes.
Manly punished Souths' right edge when second-rower Drew Williams offloaded for Feledy to race away to score behind the posts. Cummins converted for a 24-6 lead with two minutes remaining before half-time.
The Sea Eagles finished off a fine first half when second-tower Dylan Coutts crashed over our wide. Cummins converted for a 30-6 lead at the break.
South Sydney took advantage of Manly being a man down with Cummins injured in back play when Moustafa Sankari dived over from dummy half on the last tackle. McGrath converted for a 30-12 scoreline after 35 minutes.
Manly centre Eli Sagla then put his light frame on the line when he absolutely smashed Sankari in a tackle that delighted those in the crowd.
The Sea Eagles then lost their way a little through some basic handling errors instead of trying to rebuild the strong platform they laid in the first half.
Manly Coach Adam McEwan would have been happy with the first half but disappointed with the lack of execution in the second half.
The Sea Eagles did play the majority of the second half without Cummins before the smart hooker returned late in the match after recovering from a knock to the groin region.
The win leaves the Sea Eagles undefeated after two rounds heading into next week’s bye.